Build or buy media center PC?

Fendbass22

Registered User
Jan 21, 2006
849
0
0
Maine
#1
I have built my last two computers and it has been worth it. I don't play games anymore (on the PC, have PS3) so basically I will only use it for movies and episodes downloaded of the net and Realflight RC flight simulator. My last computer AMD3200+ and nVidia 6800GT have been perfect and there is no hangups. Now I'm getting tired of toting my tower around the house wherever I need it. Going to build or buy a media center PC. I have a 46" XBR4 LCD which is using all HDMI. I don't need HDMI cause the VGA cable actually looks pretty good but if the comp has it thats cool.

Now that I gave you my life story... When I run the numbers it seems to break dead even for buying or building. The quality is a little better when building but everything together and working is nice too. Opinions please.
 

hypes

Flying over your heads
Sep 23, 2004
453
1
221
Iowa
#2
Build....it's always cheaper, you get _exactly_ what you want, you can buy the stuff where you want, and you can choose whatever software you wanna run (whether it be M$ or Linux-based).
 

NightStalker3

a complete moron that posts
Oct 4, 2004
5,166
0
36
#3
Build it bro. I built mine years ago. You can get good stuff cheap now and you can make it how you want it. Once its up and everything is working you will have the urge to jerkoff to celebrate.
 

jsc315

AnalCunt
Dec 8, 2004
2,022
50
313
Evergreen Park,IL
#4
your right when you say its about the same price difference. the big difference is what you have control over and specifically on what you want.
 

sniper

Front, and to the right...
Wackbag Staff
It's My Birthday!
Oct 13, 2004
3,850
0
341
Masshole
#5
Build it. They have motherboards out now that use HDMI that are pretty inexpensive so you can build an HDMPC, you won't get hd with the VGA cable. Speaking of which, get your HDMI cable from monoprice.com 6 footers for $12, don't get suckered into buying one locally for $80. Also, you'll be able to decide what size drive you want on it for how many programs you'll want to store.
 

Fendbass22

Registered User
Jan 21, 2006
849
0
0
Maine
#6
I was thinking about the HDMI in the mobo. Will that be the same quality as an external card? I was considering building the cheapest machine that will fulfill the goal just to see what I get for the cheap stuff. Then maybe grab a list and price what it would be for middle level stuff and find somewhere inbetween.
 

weeniewawa

it's a man, baby!!!
May 21, 2005
12,076
1,267
593
Hell,California
#8
i am not sure if a pci card will have better graphics than onboard video. its not rendering video, just sending through the hd signal. I would build my own and stay away from anything M$, they have all kinds of DRM built into their stuff. go with mythtv or one of the other linux based programs.
 

Party Rooster

Unleash The Beast
Apr 27, 2005
40,304
7,454
438
The Inland Empire State
#9
You're definitely NOT going to want to go with onboard video if you're talking about using it as basically a DVR.

Also, when partitioning the hard drive, make a separate partition with 64k clusters instead of the default 4k that NTSF uses. Use that for recording large video files onto. You lose some hard drive space but make up for it with faster access.

Start here and/or Google it.

http://www.ntfs.com
 

weeniewawa

it's a man, baby!!!
May 21, 2005
12,076
1,267
593
Hell,California
#10
I have an intel first gen mac mini that I am using as media box running leopard. I am using the inboard video, it plays 1080i just fine through a DLP projector.just saying
 
Oct 8, 2003
20,592
2
278
Chicago, IL
#11
Build it. It's cheaper and you total control over the parts that go in.

Build for yourself, let other people buy. That's what I've learned. If you know how to diagnose a computer problem, go ahead and build.

Don't build for friend's and family. They will always think you are responsible for every virus they download and constantly call you. :icon_mad:
 

Sinn Fein

Infidel and White Interloper
Wackbag Staff
Aug 29, 2002
31,439
2,154
818
Florida's Nature Coast
#12
Cokelogic nailed it... I've tried to wean everyone off me over the last few years. I won't build anymore. I'll probably buy a system next time instead of building for myself. Mainly, because I'm probably going to stick with notebooks from now on. But, I also tend to find killer (and I do mean killer) deals on desktop PC's.
 

dodisman

Registered User
Feb 20, 2005
3,327
0
461
#13
How MUCH cheaper is it to build...Let's say you had a $3000 budget for a box...what would a custom $3k box run you if you had gone with a Voodoo or Alienware box
 

Mags

LDAR king
Donator
Oct 22, 2004
34,865
11,972
693
Ill Repute
#14
It is NOT so much cheaper to build yourself.

I've done both.

My last build saved me $400 (out of $4000) for an ultra game rig.

...and instead of just opening a box I had to spend weeks ordering, (and returning :icon_roll) parts and slapping them together.

It IS more satisfying to build, though.

This year I'll buy one and fuck the 10% savings.